The long-awaited adaptation of Stephen King‘s beloved book series The Dark Tower is finally underway. A Royal Affair helmer Nikolaj Arcel is in the director’s chair for adaptation, which finds Idris Elba‘s hero Roland Deschain, a.k.a. The Gunslinger, locked in a cat-and-mouse game against his nemesis, the nefarious Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), as they both travel the realm of Mid-Land in search of the elusive, immensely powerful Dark Tower.
King has previously warned fans of the novels to expect significant divergences from the book, saying that it will pick up more in the middle of the story than where it begins in the series of novels, and posting an image to twitter that is not only kind of a huge spoiler, but an indicator that these films are at least somewhat a sequel to the books. However, the latest tease is aimed directly at book fans. Elba posted a teaser image on twitter which reads “Remember the face of your father,” with the text “I am Roland, son of Steven, son of Henry, true descendant of Arthur. And I have not forgotten.” Aside from sounding vaguely badass, that doesn’t offer much to a non-book reader, but it has a whole lot of meaning for those invested in the saga.
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) June 19, 2016
In the books, Roland Deschain is the descendent of Arthur (Yes, a version of King Arthur) and the last in a long line of formally trained gunslingers. His lineage is a point of pride, and the phrase “you have forgotten the face of your father” is used throughout the books as a condemnation of shame, a way to say you’re behaving dishonorably. So basically Idris is saying he’s playing one righteous mother of a hero.
In addition to Elba, the rest of the cast includes Jackie Earle Haley as Sayre, a menacing vampire leader, Fran Kranz as Pimli, The Man in Black’s right-hand man, Kathryn Winnick in a mystery role, and Mad Max Fury Road star Abby Lee as Tirana, a somewhat mysterious character with origins in the book whose role seems to have been bulked up for the film. The Dark Tower is set to arrive in theaters on February 17, 2017.